Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona sex crimes prosecutor Republicans brought in to interrogate Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford during last week’s Senate hearing, attempted to paint herself as a kindly, dispassionate investigator when she questioned Ford. It was an unconvincing performance, given that she is a Republican who was specifically chosen by Republicans to discredit Ford, but Mitchell gave it the old college try anyway.
That attempt is now over. On Sunday night, multiple news outlets were sent a copy of a five-page memo Mitchell had prepared for Senate Republicans, outlining all the reasons why she thought Ford’s story lacked credibility. To call it a shoddy hatchet job is to insult shoddy hatchet jobs.
The memo essentially takes Mitchell’s lines of questioning of Ford to their logical conclusion, making it clear that, even though she is supposedly a prosecutor, she was intent on undermining Ford’s story in the hearing.
Let’s take a look at one example Mitchell provides: the fact that Ford did not always name Kavanaugh as her assailant when she recounted her story to people.
Many outside observers might find it reasonable that someone who had been through a deeply traumatic event that they had kept secret for decades would have a hard time naming the person who had perpetrated that event right away. To Mitchell, though, this seems to be evidence that Ford has something to hide. Truly the approach of a “just the facts” legal eagle, right?
Here’s another example, in which Mitchell notes that Ford has been unable to find other people to corroborate her story.
Mitchell places a lot of emphasis on Leland Keyser’s statement that she can’t back Ford’s allegation up. She conveniently leaves out the widely-published fact that Keyser has also said that she believes Ford’s story. Pretty big caveat, no?
Here’s one last excerpt, in which Mitchell, seemingly with a straight face, repeats the ludicrous theory that Ford is untrustworthy because she flies on planes even though she has a fear of flying. This ridiculousness was debunked essentially in real time, but here it comes again.
Note, too, the way Mitchell attempts to portray the fact that there may be other things in Ford’s life that caused psychological issues as some sort of evidence that she’s not telling the truth about Kavanaugh—as if that makes any sort of sense at all. In a properly functioning society, this sort of weak thinking would be laughed out of the room. But this is America, and Mitchell’s work is being used to push Kavanaugh’s nomination through.
Notably, Mitchell devotes no space whatsoever to analyzing her brief questioning of Kavanaugh, which was cut off part way through by Senate Republicans. That choice is so telling. Christine Blasey Ford was exceedingly polite, was put through hell, and still attempted to answer every question asked of her. Her every word is being parsed obsessively, and even the most minor inconsistencies are being held up as proof that she is not to be trusted. Kavanaugh had a meltdown, ducked and dodged question after question, and told a series of blatant lies. His words, however, are deemed to be not even worth looking into, let alone analyzed. It’s all such a nasty farce.
There is one good thing about this Mitchell memo, though: It decisively exposes her for the partisan hack she always was.